karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
After a rather long train/tube journey (KingsX line was screwed so had to use the Liverpool St. line), I (on [livejournal.com profile] ditzy_pole's recommendation) first had lunch at Gordon Ramsay's Maze restaurant which was rather fine. I hadn't treated myself in quite a while so I had four courses from the lunch menu with the flight of wines:

Cauliflower velouté, smoked haddock, potato salad - light, with delicate flavours
Braised veal shin, rocket pesto, white onion risotto - my favourite dish, despite it being veal, this had the meatiest flavour, very rich
Lamb rump, fennel, samphire, lemon thyme jus - the accompaniments really made this, complimenting each other wonderfully
Guanabana parfait, mango sorbet, mint jelly, lime sherbert - this was great, too, really fruity and fresh

I can't remember the wines (I really need to write these down). The first was a young and fresh Sauvignon/Chardonnay, then a light but fruity Italian red (grape I wasn't familiar with) and with dessert a sparkly Muscadet (perfect with the rather sweet parfait)
Service was excellent, too, friendly, unobtrusive and eager to explain everything.
I also watched the sommelier deal with what must have been a rather special (and probably old) bottle of wine. He opened it very carefully, poured out a bit into a glass, looked at it, sniffed it (probably to check if it had corked). Then he poured a bit into a carafe and basically rinsed out the carafe with the wine before decanting the bottle.

Then off to Islington to meet my friend Maria for tea and cakes. Ottolenghi was bursting at the seams with queue outside the door so we went somewhere else which was OK. It was good to catch up and chat with someone I don't see as often anymore.

After that my main reason to go to London that day: Cirque du Soleil's Totem at the Royal Albert Hall. Randomly, [livejournal.com profile] ditzy_pole and [livejournal.com profile] asthier had also booked tickets for that performance and even more randomly, sat about 5 seats away from me so we had a little chat during the interval.
The show was less artsy-fartsy than some I've seen but had a similar format, all the acts flowing into each other with live music accompaniment. It was a fantastic mix of various acrobatics and jonglage. My favourite acts were the "Perches" because there were not only wonderful acrobatics but also feats of strength and physics involved and "Manipulation" because I hadn't see that kind of clever jonglage before. My least favourite bits were the clowns, especially that obnoxious Italian and the bit with the waterski. That was just a waste of time (and didn't get that much applause, either). As always, stage and costume design were marvellous, too.

Sadly, I couldn't stay and chat as I had to head off quickly so I could catch my train home in time. Due to a door fault, we were stuck on a rather hot Victoria line train for at least five minutes before it set off again. I just made it to Tottenham Hale and the train to Cambridge in time.

Wow...

7 Feb 2009 01:13 am
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Seal)
Senses still reeling from seeing Quidam. It was beautiful and wonderful and amazing and we had almost the best view in the house from a box almost stage centre. HUGE thanks to [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewing from both [livejournal.com profile] feanelwa and me for sorting out the comp tickets.

More tomorrow, I'm too tired to type...
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cocktail)
Varekai was absolutely amazing. Alegria last year was a bit too much show and lalala but this was superb. Lots of amazing acrobatics with the breathtaking Russian Swing number being the fitting finale. A cunning stage with rotating platforms and randomly appearing hatches (both for comedic effect and making artists appear and disappear), great use of light and stage dressing/props and wonderful music made the whole thing a wonderful experience.

Pleasant conversation made the train journey back fly by, I just could have lived without the pouring rain outside the station. By the time I reached my car I was drenched.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Casual me)

The premiere of Cirque de Soleil's Alegria at Royal Albert Hall was utterly beautiful last night.
Many many thanks again to [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewingmiko for the ticket!

After taking an early train at 4:45, I just got to the RAH on time to pick up my ticket because I was a muppet and turned right instead of left coming out of South Kensington tube and then had to find the box office. Trundled in to find my seat (fourth row ringside, no less) and asked the lass sitting there if she was one of [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewingmiko's friends and indeed, it turned out to be [livejournal.com profile] ajva so we exchanged a few words about this and that and then [livejournal.com profile] lolliepopp turned up who knows [livejournal.com profile] faerierhona which again proves that you can't go anywhere without meeting someone who knows [livejournal.com profile] faerierhona. ;o)
Then I finally got to meet [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewingmiko who showed up just before the show started and joined us watching the performance.

The acrobatics were stunning (have a look at the link above for the lineup), the clowns entertaining (I got to throw a paper plane!) and the music and singing was very moving (I kept humming the theme last night on my home and this morning, too). A very good night out and I would recommend it to anyone. It's on until the 11th of February, so get your tickets!

After the show we met up with [livejournal.com profile] envoy (yay, another LJ friend finally met IRL) and [livejournal.com profile] jhg by the stage door and headed backstage (or rather downstage into the bowels of RAH) first into [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewingmiko's lair and then to the bar where some awful wine was served. *shudder*, one would have thought you'd get something better at such a prestigious venue, at least it was free. ;oÞ
We found out that royal guests (Prince William and his gf) had watched the premiere, too but hadn't come backstage. Booh. ;o)

Later we wandered to the Kensington Roof Gardens for the official secret After Show Party but there was just enough time for me to have a quick look around and say good-bye before I thought I had to leave so I could get back to Kings X in time. Obviously, I was far too early but had I left five minutes later, I would have been stuck in Kensington as there was a "passenger incident" which shut down the Circle Line and I got the last one...

I was still buzzing from the show so I watched the last bit of Jools Hollands' NYE thing and then two episodes of Monk on DVD until I finally went to bed.

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